Coverage from the Sun

Here on the Carolina coast, soaking up the sun is a big part of boating. But, there are times when you need a break from the heat. Which top is right for your family and friends?

Because of their design of maximizing seating, bowriders or dual consoles will typically have either a Bimini top or on larger boats a hard top.

For smaller boats, Bimini tops are the most popular. They’re typically designed to cover the cockpit, including the driver, using a marine grade fabric material as coverage.

Bimini top on a center console

They are mounted on either an aluminum or stainless steel frame and can range from 6-8’ long. These by far give you the most sun protection.

Aluminum frames are lighter and cheaper but are not nearly as rigid. Wake board towers are Popular on water sports boats.

On smaller center consoles, a Bimini top is more popular

A Bimini top is usually integrated into the tower. Because the tower is either permanently or semi-permanently mounted to the boat, the Bimini top attached to it will be more rigid when underway, but providing a little less shade.

On smaller center consoles, a Bimini top is more popular and will provide the most shade. On larger center consoles, T-Tops are mounted around the center console.

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They give the boat the cool factor as well as more casting room for fishing both at the bow and aft.

Keep in mind that they typically offer shade to mainly the captain and companions directly behind the console.

T-top on a center console

The addition of a shade kit can increase the shade both aft and at the bow. On smaller center consoles, it’s common to see a soft top t-top.

They utilize marine grade fabric that is connected to the aluminum frame of the t-top.

These are popular on smaller center consoles because it gives you the t-top without adding all the weight of a fiberglass t-top.

T-top with a shade kit.

On larger models, typically 22’ and up, fiberglass t-tops are more common because the added weight will not adversely affect boat performance.

Other nice features with fiberglass t-tops include additional rod holders, built in speakers, spreader lights, electronics box and misters.

Charleston summers are hot and UV exposure can be dangerous. Choosing the right top for your boat based on convenience and protection is important.

At Duncan’s Boats, we can help you navigate the various top options..

Logan Reidenbach/ Duncan’s Boats / 843-744-2628

For more informative reading visit Duncan’s Boats Learning Center